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Optimizing strategic behaviour in a dynamic setting in professional team sports

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  • Dobson, Stephen
  • Goddard, John

Abstract

This article develops a dynamic game-theoretic model of optimizing strategic behaviour by football (soccer) teams. Teams choose between defensive and attacking formations and between a non-violent and a violent playing style, and can vary these choices continuously throughout each match. Starting from the end of the match and working backwards, the teams' optimal strategies conditional on the current state of the match are determined by solving a series of two-player non-cooperative subgames. Numerical simulations are used to explore the sensitivity of strategic behaviour to variations in the structural parameters. The analysis demonstrates that the strategic behaviour of football teams can be rationalized in accordance with game-theoretic principles of optimizing strategic behaviour by agents when payoffs are uncertain and interdependent.

Suggested Citation

  • Dobson, Stephen & Goddard, John, 2010. "Optimizing strategic behaviour in a dynamic setting in professional team sports," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 205(3), pages 661-669, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ejores:v:205:y:2010:i:3:p:661-669
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. P. Dorian Owen & Nicholas King, 2015. "Competitive Balance Measures In Sports Leagues: The Effects Of Variation In Season Length," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 53(1), pages 731-744, January.
    2. Nicolau, Juan L., 2011. "The decision to raise firm value through a sports-business exchange: How much are Real Madrid's goals worth to its president's company's goals?," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 215(1), pages 281-288, November.
    3. Jarvandi Ali & Sarkani Shahram & Mazzuchi Thomas, 2013. "Modeling team compatibility factors using a semi-Markov decision process: a data-driven approach to player selection in soccer," Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, De Gruyter, vol. 9(4), pages 347-366, December.
    4. repec:qut:auncer:2013_04 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Eike Emrich & Markus Klein & Werner Pitsch & Christian Pierdzioch, 2012. "On the determinants of sporting success – A note on the Olympic Games," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(3), pages 1890-1901.
    6. Nicolau, Juan L., 2012. "The effect of winning the 2010 FIFA World Cup on the tourism market value: The Spanish case," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 503-510.

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